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How People Change: Married to Christ

Review

B. Second was counterfeit hopes

C. Third was Where God is taking us

D. This one indicates that it is a person who changes you

E. Two weeks ago we saw that Paul had great confidence that God who began a good work in you will complete it. That good work was started when we came to know Christ.

The Person who changes you

“This is the most unique aspect of a biblical view of change. It is not less than cognitive change; it is so much more. It is not less than behavioral change; it is so much more. No other secular or religious approach to change comes close to what we find in Scripture. The Bible gives us more than exhortations and rules for change. The great gift Christ gives us is himself!”

B. Marriage is a form of a covenant, whereby the parties commit and bind themselves to one another.

1. In your marriage covenant, you promised to remain committed through the good and the bad.

2. Etc.

C. Scripture indicates that God has covenanted with us, making us the bride of Christ. This is both communal and personal, it refers to the church and to the people in the church. It may be hard to imagine it, but men you are to be a beautiful bride!

D. The OT speaks about God’s people being a bride, and the NT does as well

1. After speaking of the marriage relationship, Paul says, “this is a profound mystery—I speak of Christ and the church.”

2. Paul’s point seems to be that marriage was designed to show us our relationship to Christ. God did not see marriage and think, boy that is a good picture!

III. Stay Focused on Christ

A. If we think of the Christian life as one of growth and change, what are the key ingredients of that change?

B. We probably will say the means of grace: Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, sacraments, etc.

C. These are the means, but not the end! The end is to know Christ, and thereby be changed!

IV. Married to Christ:

“I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” ()

B. Paul indicates that though we are betrothed to Christ, it is possible for us to be tempted to give our hearts to false lovers.

C. This passage indicates that we are engaged to Christ, but engagement in the ancient world was already considered marriage. Consider the account of Mary and Joseph. If he wanted to get out of the engagement, he had to divorce her!

D. The image of marriage is incredibly relationally intimate. And just as with marriage, there is an appropriate jealousy when one’s affections go beyond the bounds. Paul speaks as a jealous father, how much more is Christ jealous of his bride?

“What false lovers entice you to forget your true husband and the faithfulness he deserves? Why do we worship other things in place of Christ? Quite simply, we worship what we find attractive. We allow many things to eclipse the beauty of Christ. We devote our hearts to our jobs, other people, a state of mind (comfort, security), success, power, peace, or money.”

Fight for your relationship to Christ the same way you would fight for your relationship to your spouse. Don’t let anything—even good things—get in the way.

Think of the significance this marriage view of Christianity has: 1. The desires, wishes, and goals of my Christ are primary 2. We should be actively preparing for the formal marriage 3. Like marriage, our relationship to Christ is all-inclusive.

1. The desires, wishes, and goals of my Christ are primary

2. We should be actively preparing for the formal marriage

3. Like marriage, our relationship to Christ is all-inclusive.

Christ the Bridegroom:

B. Perhaps we have a benefit/cost chart, indicating what we like and will benefit from vs what we do not like and will not benefit from.

C. What does such a chart look like for us?

D. While there are some negatives (I will give up my independent dreams, give up fleshly things I love, I may have to give up family relationships, etc.). the Positives far, far outweight them

describes Christ

y (v. 18),
Then _____________________________
• Since he is the firstborn over all creation (v. 15),
then_____________________________
• Since he is the Creator of all things (v. 16),
then_____________________________
Since all things were created for him (v. 16),
then _____________________________
• Since he is eternal (“before all things”) (v. 17),
then _____________________________
• Since he is the Head of the body (v. 18),
then _____________________________
• Since he is the beginning and firstborn among the dead (v. 18),
then _____________________________
• Since he is supreme (v. 18),
then _____________________________
• Since he is the fullness of God (v. 19),
then _____________________________
• Since he is the reconciler of all things (w. 20, 22),
then _____________________________
• Since he is the peacemaker (v. 20),
then _____________________________

The Blessings of Our Union with Christ: ;

Each spouse brings something to the table to offer the other, and often has some problems that must be overcome or lived with. In our relationship with Christ, it is all lopsided. We are marrying above our league!

B. In our relationship with Christ, it is all lopsided. We are marrying above our league!

C. Read these passages and consider the significant blessings we receive in Christ

1. What do we bring:

a. We are guilty of sin and alienated from God

b. We are foolish and blind

c. We are powerless and enslaved

2. What he brings

a. Forgiveness from sin and a right relationship with the Father

b. True Knowledge and insight

c. Divine power and freedom

D. They give the example of the young caddy who grew up in poverty marrying into the rich girls family. This analogy works to a degree, but it misses the internal change that takes place in us.

Getting Practical

A. Perceived Assets

2.

B. Christ’s Assets

1. Now Christ has given us everything—all that is needed for life and godliness.

Getting Practical

How should our marriage to Christ influence our view of: A. Loss of a Job B. Working at a thankless job C. Your burden as a single parent D. Chronic pain suffering E. Earthly success and Blessing

B. Working at a thankless job

C. Your burden as a single parent

D. Chronic pain suffering

E. Earthly success and Blessing

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